Saturday, August 14, 2010

Two Bits (1995), as Gitano Sabatoni

Two Bits (1995) movie poster

Two Bits was directed by James Foley and the screenplay writen by Joseph Stefano, and was released on November 22, 1995. The film's title "two bits" refers to the American slang term for a quarter dollar.

Two Bits storyline following the life of Gennaro Spirito, a 12-year old young boy from South Philly in summer day in 1933, where he lives with widowed mom Luisa Spirito, and his grandpa, Gitano.

His grandpa sits outside holding tight to his last quarter, which he's promised to Gennaro and which Gennaro would like to have to buy a ticket to the plush new movie theater. But grandpa's not ready to pass on the quarter or pass on to his final reward: he has some unfinished business with a woman from his past, and he enlists Gennaro to act as his emissary.

Al Pacino appeared in the film as a personal favor to director James Foley because he had a great time working with him on Glengarry Glen Ross (1992).


Al Pacino as Gitano Sabatoni
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as Luisa Spirito
Jerry Barone as Gennaro Spirito
Andy Romano as Dr. Bruna
Patrick Borriello as Tullio
Donna Mitchell as Mrs. Bruna
Joe Grifasi as Uncle Joe
Mary Lou Rosato as Aunt Carmela

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Righteous Kill (2008)

Righteous Kill is the third film after The Godfather Part II (1974) and Heat (1995) where both two greatest actors Al Pacino and Robert De Niro starred together (in The Godfather Part II they never shared a scene). The film directed by John Avnet and screenplay written by Russell Gewirtz.

Two aging NYPD homicide detectives Det. Tom "Turk" Cowan (Robert De Niro) and Det. David "Rooster" Fisk (Al Pacino), who have been longtime partners, are faced with a serial killer with monicker the "Poetry Boy", who is murdering sociopathic criminals and leaving short poems with their bodies.

Tensions between the pairs of longtime partners is inevitable as they both start working with a younger, less-experienced team: Det. Perez (John Leguizamo), Det. Riley (Donnie Wahlberg), and Detective Corelli (Carla Gugino). Perez and Riley suspect Turk of being Poetry Boy. Rooster puts Turk in front of a video camera and forces him to read his journal. But finally it revealed that Rooster is the actual Poetry Boy.

Despite features two great performances from two of the greatest actor of all time, Righteous Kill has received mainly negative reviews, saying that the director (John Avnet) sacrifice mystery, suspense, and sensible editing one expects to find in a thriller movie just to keep the audience off-guard. The Times included Righteous Kill on its 100 Worst Films of 2008 list.

Righteous Kill also commercially flat, grossing total of only $78 million with $40 million domestic (US/Canada) and $38 million international.


Al Pacino ... Detective David "Rooster" Fisk
Robert De Niro ... Detective Tom "Turk" Cowan
Carla Gugino ... Detective Karen Corelli
John Leguizamo ... Detective Perez
Donnie Wahlberg ... Detective Riley
Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson ... Marcus "Spider" Smith
Brian Dennehy ... Lieutenant Hingis
Frank John Hughes ... Charles Randall
Rob Dyrdek ... Robert "Rambo" Brady

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Frankie and Johnny (1991)

Frankie and Johnny 1991 poster.

Frankie and Johnny is the next film after Scarface (1983) where Pacino and Michelle Pfeiffer reunite in screen. The title of the film is a reference to the song 'Frankie and Johnny' (1904), which tells the story of a woman who finds her man making love to another woman and shoots him dead. The film directed by Garry Marshall and screenplay written by playwright Terrence McNally.

The film follows the story of Johnny (Al Pacino), a lonely man who has just been released from prison and gets a job as a short-order cook in a restaurant owned by a greek family. He meets - and then falls in love - with Frankie (Michelle Pfeiffer), waitress at the same restaurant - a woman with same loneliness. The problem is Frankie have a traumatic past that makes her mistrust of men.

Frankie and Johnny received generally positive reviews from critics. The film won GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Film. Kate Nelligan won the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role and the National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the film. Michelle Pfeiffer was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.

Previously, another film of the same name from 1966 starring Elvis Presley and Donna Douglas. Elvis' version of Frankie and Johnny takes its name from the same song, but is not related to this film.

Frankie and Johnny DVD/Blu-ray:


Al Pacino ... Johnny
Michelle Pfeiffer ... Frankie
Kate Nelligan ... Cora
Hector Elizondo ... Nick
Nathan Lane ... Tim
Jane Morris ... Nedda
Greg Lewis ... Tino
Al Fann ... Luther
Ele Keats ... Artemis
Fernando López ... Jorge

Sunday, August 8, 2010

City Hall (1996) - Mayor John Pappas

City Hall movie poster
New York City Mayor John Pappas (Al Pacino) has grand political ambitions. His next political pursue are the governor's office and the White House. But he is surprisingly found involved in a big scandal. A young boy named James Bone dies from a stray bullet during a shootout between off-duty police detective Eddie Santos and Tino Zapatti, cousin of organized crime boss Paul Zapatti.

Tino Zapatti previously been supiciously given probation by Judge Walter Stern, old friend of John Pappas. Kevin Calhoun, John Pappas idealistic Deputy Mayor, smells something fishy about the incident and starts digging for information. His investigation later found a fact: Mayor John Pappas is the one who put Judge Stern together with Brooklyn politician Frank Anselmo to receive a bribe and leave the Tino Zapatti killed on the street.

City Hall are loosely based on actual New York's political life. The character of Frank Anselmo was based on Queens Borough President Donald Manes, who was caught up in real estate scandals and attempted suicide (but survived) in his car in 1986 by slashing his wrists, and later succeeded in the next suicide attempt by plunging a kitchen knife into his heart. To prepare his role as Mayor John Pappas, Al Pacino spent time with New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and former Mayors Edward I. Koch and David Dinkins.

City Hall DVD/Blu-ray:


Al Pacino ... Mayor John Pappas
John Cusack ... Deputy Mayor Kevin Calhoun
Bridget Fonda ... Marybeth Cogan
Martin Landau ... Judge Walter Stern
Anthony Franciosa ... Paul Zapatti
Danny Aiello ... Frank Anselmo
David Paymer ... Abe Goodman
Nestor Serrano ... Det. Eddie Santos
Roberta Peters ... Nettie Anselmo

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Chinese Coffee (2000) - Harry Levine

Harry Levine is an aging, failed writer from Greenwich Village who fired from his daily job as doorman. Desperately seeking for cash, he calls on his close friend Jake Manheim, an arts photographer, to collect a substantial amount of long-standing debt. But now the fellas has even less money on hand than him.

Al Pacino in Chinese CoffeeHarry then engage in an all-night discussion with Jake, solicits Jake's opinion on manuscript of his latest novel, hoping for an honest review. The novel is a semi-fiction based on their longtime friendship. Instead of honest review, jealousy make the washed-up photographer attacks Harry's manuscript in attempt to destroy his courage and motivation, and this attack lead to a confrontation. However, Harry Levine finally gains his courage.

Chinese Coffee initially released as part of the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. The independent film was originally a play by Ira Lewis (in which Pacino performed at Circle in the Square in New York in 1992), and made into a film directed by Al Pacino himself. Almost all of the film' scenes shot as a one-on-one conversation between the two main characters, Harry Levine (Al Pacino) and Jake Manheim (Jerry Orbach). Both the play and the film are set in New York City circa 1985.

Despite made on 2000, Chinese Coffee released for wider audiences than film festivals seven years later on 2007, as a part of Pacino: An Actor's Vision, a three-movie boxed set (along with The Local Stigmatic and Looking for Richard).


Al Pacino ... Harry Levine
Jerry Orbach ... Jake Manheim
Susan Floyd ... Joanna
Ellen McElduff ... Mavis
Neal Jones ... Eteocles
Michel Moinot ... Maurice
Joel Eidelsberg ... Harry Levine's brother
Paul J.Q. Lee ... Counterman

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Glengarry Glen Ross (1992) - Ricky Roma

Glengarry Glen Ross movie poster.
Adapted from David Mamet's 1984 play of the same name, Glengarry Glen Rose (1992) was critically acclaimed with highly positive reviews by most of the major critics, although it failed commercially, only making $10.7 million for $12.5 million budget. The film directed by James Foley, produced by Jerry Tokofsky and Stanley R. Zupnik, and starring Jack Lemmon, Alec Baldwin, Al Pacino, Ed Harris, and Jonathan Pryce.

The story of the film follows the lives of four salesman in a New York real estate office. They are Shelley Levene (Jack Lemmon), Ricky Roma (Al Pacino), George Aaronow (Alan Arkin), and Dave Moss (Ed Harris). The owner of the office sent Blake (Alec Baldwin) to motivate them by given a strong incentive in a sales contest, with first prize is a Cadillac Eldorado, and second prize is a set of steak knives. A tough competition among them to win the prize led to dishonest tactics to make sales.

Al Pacino as real estate salesman Ricky Roma in Glengarry Glen RossGlengarry Glen Ross had its premiere at the Venice Film Festival and opened in regular release on October 2, 1992. Previously, David Mamet's original play opened in 1983 at the National Theatre of London, then at New York's the John Golden Theater on 25 March, 1984 and running for 378 performances. The play won the 1984 Tony Award for Best Play, and the 1984 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The title refers to Glengarry Highlands and Glen Ross Farms, two properties mentioned in the movie/play.

Glengarry Glen Ross had three weeks of rehearsals and was shot over 39 days, almost entirely in sequence, single takes, and then cut up in editing to try to replicate the theatrical flow and cadence of the dialogue. Filming began in August 1991 on location in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn and at the Kaufman Astoria Soundstage in Queens, New York. Al Pacino was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor for his work in the film but did not win. Instead, he won the Best Actor Oscar for Scent of a Woman in the same year (1992).

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Local Stigmatic (1990) - Graham

the Local Stigmatic poster.
The short film, 52 minutes long The Local Stigmatic is a drama film with the story follows Graham (Al Pacino) and Ray (Paul Guilfoyle), two sociopaths, nihilist working-class British friends who spend their free time walking and discussing greyhound track racing, and read gossip column on the papers. They eventually engaging in brutal acts of violence against random victim (a film star who they've read about in gossip column).

The Local Stigmatic is directed by David Wheeler, produced by (and starring) Al Pacino, written by Peter Brynmor Roberts based on a stage play by Heathcote Williams, and was filmed and edited during the late 1980s.

Al Pacino began shooting exteriors for the film in London in 1984, for only 9 days filming time. For the role, Pacino and Paul Guilfoyle studied and examined the play for four years and spent four months rehearsing before it was finally shot. They avoid making the film look too cinematic. Instead, the film made like a stage play.

The Local Stigmatic eventually released on DVD as part of "The Al Pacino Box Set" in June 2007 (with Looking for Richard and Chinese Coffee), but was never released theatrically. Previously, in 1990 Al Pacino donated a copy of the film to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City with the stipulation that it can only be screening with his permission.


Al Pacino ... Graham
Paul Guilfoyle ... Ray
Joseph Maher ... David (as Joe Maher)
Brian Mallon ... News Vendor
Michael Higgins ... Drunk man

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Devil's Advocate (1997) - John Milton

Al Pacino as John Milton in The Devil's Advocate
The Devil's Advocate adapted from the novel with same name by Andrew Neiderman. The story of the film centers on Kevin Lomax, a young lawyer from Gainesville, Florida, who has never lost a case, get an offer to work with high salary on - and eventually joins the world's most powerful law firm: Milton, Chadwick & Waters.

Lomax begins spending his time at work, leaving his wife depressed and abandoned. However, He discover that John Milton, his boss, has freaky personality and his wife starts witnesses demonic apparitions. Kevin Lomax face a dilemma, and he start find out about the grand scheme his boss is running.

Keanu Reeves and Al Pacino in The Devil's AdvocateThe Devil's Advocate directed by Taylor Hackford. Al Pacino plays John Milton, Kevin Lomax' boss and mentor, and the head of the New York law firm Milton, Chadwick & Waters. Keanu Reeves play as ambitious young defense attorney Kevin Lomax. Lomax wife, Mary-Ann Lomax, was played by Charlize Theron. Another casts including Connie Nielsen as Christabella Andreoli, Jeffrey Jones as Eddie Barzoon, and Craig T. Nelson as Alexander Cullen.

The Devil's Advocate has some allusions to John Milton's classic epic poem, The Paradise Lost. Even the name of Pacino's character in the film, John Milton, was named after the author's name. Milton's famous quotation "Better to reign in Hell, than to serve in Heaven" says by Lomax in Milton's office was quoted from Book I Line 263 of the same work.

The Devil's Advocate was filmed in some notable locations, including Trump Tower, Goldman Sachs building, and Bergen County Courthouse in Hackensack, New Jersey.
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